Community reacts to Upatoi murder arrests

Community reacts to Upatoi murder arrests

UPATOI, GA (WTVM) - The investigation into the three Upatoi murders is nowhere near over, but more than a week after the brutal deaths of Gloria Short, her 17-year-old son Caleb Short, and her 10-year-old granddaughter Gianna Lindsey, there is some closure for family members.

None of the residents close by the home of where the murders took place wanted to go on camera while the investigation is ongoing, but many of them say they're glad two arrests were made and they are hoping things can get back to normal in their usually quiet neighborhood.

The home in the Cedar Point subdivision on Bentley Drive in Upatoi is where a mother, her son and her granddaughter lost their lives on Jan. 4.

Without answers for more than a week, Columbus police arrested two people they believe are connected to the crime. All three family members died of blunt force trauma.

"It felt wonderful. Our family has been waiting for this for the last few days and we knew that the police department was on the right track," said Shameika Averett, mother of Gianna Lindsey and daughter of Gloria Short.

While Jervarceay Tapley and Raheam Gibson are in jail each facing three counts of murder and other charges, Chief Ricky Boren of the Columbus police announced at a press conference that it's possible more people will also be arrested.

"At one of them surfaced real early into this investigation. The victimology took us into the direction of people we believed were directly involved in this. We had to wait until a little later to actually arrest them to corroborate things we already knew," said Chief Ricky Boren.

"This is an ongoing investigation so we're hoping that they find whoever else they find. Our community can rest assure that our police department is one of the best," said Averett

Police on Tuesday were able to release the home of Gloria and Caleb Short back to family members, who are now trying to heal from the pain of losing their loved ones

"Our faith is tested for us to seek God through prayer and just believe that God has a greater day coming through the situation," said Kevin Jones.

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